Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, that was an excellent address. The member spoke so clearly to the issues that I think all of us on the opposition benches at least, and I imagine some friends on the Conservative side in their heart, would like to see changed.
I am going to refer to a brief that came from Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, which made some of the same points. Their reading of this bill, as it is before us now, said that under this bill we may still be running, not only not meeting the convention’s goals, but running “counter to, the convention’s goals”.
They are concerned that the bill:
|Permits assistance with cluster munition-related activities…in the course of joint military operations…;|
|Allows stockpiling of cluster munitions in and transit of them through Canadian territory;|
|Provides only a limited ban on transfer of cluster munitions; and|
|Fails explicitly to prohibit investment in the production of cluster munitions.|
My question is for my hon. colleague. Given these failures, how does he believe Bill C-6 stands up to the promises and the commitments we have made in signing the convention in the first place?
Scott Simms: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her earlier speech when she spoke so passionately to this issue.
The witnesses we have seen speak passionately about things that are in the bill that are considered to be loopholes, which I mentioned earlier. They also speak to things not addressed, things that live up to the spirit of the treaty that was originally signed. For example, stockpile destruction, transparency reports, working to universalize the convention and promote its norms, notifying allies of its convention obligations, discouraging the use of cluster munitions.
There is a basic investment in the public realm as to what these bombs can do and how we need to eradicate them, and how we keep our governments in check to always make sure that we propose legislation that eliminates these destructive and unbearable munitions.